Air­port deal runs into trou­ble

Pri­va­ti­za­tion of 14 re­gional aero­dromes faces de­lays as Fra­port seeks as­sur­ances from gov­ern­ment

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The Greek gov­ern­ment has re­acted to re­quests by Ger­many’s Fra­port re­gard­ing fur­ther ne­go­ti­a­tions for the con­ces­sion of 14 re­gional air­ports.

In a state­ment, the gov­ern­ment said, “If the con­tract­ing com­pany raises the is­sue of rene­go­ti­a­tion, the rene­go­ti­a­tions will not be lim­ited to points the com­pany raises but a com­plete rene­go­ti­a­tion.”

It added: “The com­ple­tion of the con­ces­sion of 14 re­gional air­ports to the terms agreed with the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment rep­re­sents the con­di­tions laid out at the July 12 sum­mit. The gov­ern­ment fully ob­served these terms.”

The an­nounce­ment came af­ter Fra­port said that the agree­ment, worth 1.2 bil­lion eu­ros, rep­re­sented “a ba­sis for the re­sump­tion of ne­go­ti­a­tions” be­tween the com­pany and the Greek side. Fra­port is seek­ing fur­ther re­as­sur­ance based on the changes to Greece’s po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic land­scape.

The Hel­lenic Re­pub­lic As­set De­vel­op­ment Fund (TAIPED) said yesterday that, “ac­cord­ing to the ten­der con­di­tions, there has been con­tin­u­ous con­tact with the joint ven­ture Fra­port AG - Slen­tel Ltd, which con­firmed its in­ter­est in the com­ple­tion of the deal.

“The de­ci­sion by the Gov­ern­ment Coun­cil for Eco­nomic Pol­icy opens the road for the con­sol­i­da­tion of the terms which will lead to the sign­ing of the con­tract.”

Ac­cord­ing to TAIPED’s As­set De- vel­op­ment Plan (ADP), by July 31 there re­mained eight out­stand­ing is­sues for the com­ple­tion of the deal, in­clud­ing the sub­mis­sion by Fra­port of all rel­e­vant ap­pen­dices such as fi­nan­cial mod­els and ba­sic terms for de­sign and con­struc­tion. TAIPED ex­pects most of the out­stand­ing is­sues to be re­solved by Novem­ber. How­ever, the ADP fore­sees a fi­nal deal by Septem­ber. Given the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion and de­lays, a deal by the first quar­ter of 2016 ap­pears re­mote.

Speak­ing to Kathimerini, the re­gional gover­nor for the Io­nian Is­lands, Theodoros Gali­at­satos, said: “This deal would se­ri­ously im­pact the econ­omy of our re­gion. The pos­si­ble in­crease in land­ing fees will put off low-cost and char­ter flights and have neg­a­tive ef­fects on tourism in this re­gion.” Gali­at­satos, who was ap­pointed with SYRIZA’s sup­port, said he plans to con­tinue his op­po­si­tion to the pri­va­ti­za­tion of the 14 re­gional air­ports.

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